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Scarlatti (only - grrr)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    This was supposed to be another double recording matching up Granados' transcription of a Scarlatti sonata, and the actual Scarlatti original. But just last night I decided to listen to a recording of the Granados and to my horror discovered that I had not learned the whole thing yet. I had printed out only the first two pages and thought that was the whole piece. Turns out there are three more pages and now it will take me a lot longer to learn the entire piece. I'm aggravated because this is the third time this has happened to me when I thought I had a whole piece learned, but actually did not. :x

    So I decided this morning to at least record the Scarlatti sonata to get it off my plate. And it's not as easy as it sounds. There are about a million little trills and they are mostly all inside of a chord. I've never done that before, so some of my trills were awkward.


    And another thing - the cord on my Edirol is frayed - like someone accidentally snipped it with scissors. Have no idea how that happened, but looks I have to order a new power cord which will be my second time in doing so. :x :x


    Anyway, hope this is okay - comments welcomed!

    Scarlatti - Sonata in F Major, K.541
     
  2. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica, you did a nice job on this piece and also on the trills, I think. I wish I could do such nice trills, too... One of my weaknesses lies in trills. Any tipps for me? :)
     
  3. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    hi, Monica!

    now I feel like playing a Scarlatti sonata which I love (in G minor).
    well... it's gone. :lol:

    nice playing, though at the end it could be more flowing.
    I don't know much Scarlatti, but to me it sounds always difficult.


    PS: I'd like to tell you this...
    some friends of mine make fun of me, because with some frequency I tell stories which I find funny, but then... after telling, they do not sound as funny as I had imagined... so I end up saying: finish!

    now my friends found a video of Sponge Bob, and they said it's quite like me, hehe:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKPVjlIH9ZY
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for listening, Hye-Jin and Felipe.

    Hye-Jin - Sorry, I don't have any tips for you because I too am looking for tips on how to play trills better. The only thing I can say is that when I know a piece I want to record has a lot of trills, I make sure I am in good shape. Meaning, I need to be warmed up at the piano, but not so much that I am already fatigued a little. Also, I have to eat something first so that I have energy - coffee helps too. Ridiculous, I know - but that's how I play trills.

    Felipe - my younger son is named Bobby and he used to watch Sponge Bob all the time. We sometimes still call him Sponge Bobby. :lol:
     
  5. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    A good tip, "eat something" :D I believe for better trills one must relax the fingers, which succeeds only sometimes (and I don't know how to do that constantly). But with the enough energy the probability of success will be growing, indeed.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    The trills were generally ok, though I can understand they're not as pristine as you had wanted. The short ones are fine, the longer ones a bit unclear/uneven, and the ones that are inside a chord are good but seem a bit too prominent. Overall a good performance but it could have been a bit lighter on its feet.

    If your power cord is damaged why not cut out the damaged bit and re-attach the ends, wrapping up the joint with insulation tape ? Can't see why you need to buy a new one :? I am sure your husband (who apparently can repair PC monitors :wink: ) can do that for you.
     
  7. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    Hye-Jin, are you familiar with keeping your fingers very low to the keys and only lifting them up to the escapement level? I'm sure you know all about that, but I'd never heard such an idea until I began studying with my current teacher and she soundly reproved me for my high fingers. :D Following her suggestions really made a difference for me... before that my poor trilling fingers got tired in a hurry!
     
  8. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, actually I wanted to say that, but forgot. Recently the power cord of the adaptor of my husband's laptop had the same problem and we have it solved in that way.
     
  9. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    the low fingers is the main clue for smooth thrills. there are pianists who play such a beautiful pianissimo thrill which can only be achieved this way.

    but EVEN SO this is difficult to achieve. not to say that I heard this beautiful thrills only done by some really rare pianists...
     
  10. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Sarah! No, I didn't know that!! I know barely nothing about techniques... For example what is the escapement level? :oops: I think I've heard that word somewhere, but I cannot remember :(
     
  11. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Felipe. Then where should be placed the wrist?
     
  12. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    This is nice Monica. Very elegant. I think the trills came out ok.

    Yeah the trills look tricky, especially the trills within the chord. Playing a trill while the other fingers in the same hand play a counter melody always seems like a tricky thing to me. I wonder if part of the trick is to have a piano with a really good action/dynamic range.



     
  13. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    I really don't know, Hye-Jin.

    I have seen pianists do whatever with the wrists. High, low... etc. hehe

    but... this is something I never do. I don't change the "level" of my wrist just to play thrills. Most of the time it's always in the "middle": not high, not low. Natural.

    I don't know if this is good or bad... or if it impairs something...
    If you discover, please tell me! hehe
     
  14. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    Escapement level

    If you press down a key on your (acoustic) piano very lightly, you will find that in the very beginning of the movement resistance is very low; and then, you soon meet an "obstacle" which is when the aft side of the lever meets the mechanism. You can still make a sound by pressing (harder our softer) from that point down. You can also make a sound if you lift up the key only to that precise point (or slightly above it) when doing the trills. That is the escapement level, or tone point. Being familiar with that concept is paramount to good trills and also to good glissandos; your sliding fingers need only drive the key slightly past the tone point for glissandos, not all the way down which would be hurtful.

    Some (but not all) electronic keyboards reproduce (somewhat) this KEY concept for piano playing (pardon the pun, Juuf), like the new PHA III with escapement by Roland, used in the V-Piano.

    :)

    And Felipe, I also get a thrill from playing trills but watch out for the spare "h".

    :)
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for listening Chris and Stan.

    Trills - I wish they were never invented! I will never get the hang of how to play long ones smoothly. If my trills come out somewhat decently, it is just plain luck. I've tried everything - hand position, fingers pressing down, fingers lifting up, raising my bench, eating more pasta :lol: , but nothing has done much good. In my case, I think it is a mental problem in that when I know a trill is coming, I get nervous about it and tense up. Of course, when no one is around, and when I'm not recording, and when I'm sipping some wine, my trills are much better. Ah well...

    My husband did fix my cord last night, so at least that's a good thing. And congratulations to you Felipe and Marcel for winning the 2016 Olympics. I'm a little sad about Chicago not winning.
     
  16. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    but in fact I live in São Paulo and Marcelo lives in Salvador.
    anyway... let's see how these olympics with gunfights will be. :lol:
     
  17. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    Having just been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, I started taking a look at several sources about wrist position. Opinions on this vary, but most point in the direction that you should pick a position that feels comfortable to you, not inducing any kind of pain or numbness in or around your shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists, hands or fingers. To most people the middle position seems to fit this description best. Also take frequent breaks, like at least 30 seconds to 1 minute every 5 minutes and also longer breaks, 10 minutes in every hour. Even Chopin already knew it hurts to practice for more than 3 hours a day. And last but not least, play relaxed! Tensing up anything will eventually hurt, and in the long run it may be better not to practice at all than to practice tensely. If you feel any pain or numbness take a break until it is completely gone. If that feeling persists beyond practice hours maybe it is time to see a hand surgeon.
     
  18. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    May I say that having a power chord repaired at home may be somewhat of a safety hazard, especially if there are young children in the household. :) I always use rechargeable batteries for my Edirol.

    About the Olympics, I too am having mixed feelings about that. I know it will be great for the city of Rio, but it's like giving something to those who don't really need it. Our country is one of many social barriers and inequalities, even inside the big cities like Rio, and that will become evident during the games. The favelas (slums) are very real and a true problem. One can only hope seven years is enough time to at least partially ammend that.
     
  19. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    You're welcome! I've had very little along the way of technique too.

    I think mgasilva explained "escapement" better than I ever could. Basically, it's when the hammer swings into action, and you can feel the resistance when that happens. After the hammer goes toward the strings, you can't do a thing to alter the tone or volume of the note, only the duration.
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    that’s why I had my husband do the repair! :lol: ( and just to help you, it is a power cord – not chord. no ‘h’ in this kind of cord)

    Regarding the Olympics - Most of us here in Chicago were very excited about the possibility of hosting the Olympics. But we are also aware of the fact that the costs in preparing for the games would probably exceed the budget (like always) and so it is a mixed blessing. Chicago is a great city and we wanted to show that off to the world. Some other time, I guess.
     

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